Section 1, Lesson 1
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Controlled Firing Areas (CFAs), Warning Areas, Alert Areas

Controlled Firing Areas (CFAs), Warning Areas, and Alert Areas

This topic covers the purpose and entry requirements of controlled firing areas, warning areas and alert areas.

Lesson Notes

Controlled Firing Areas (CFAs) are places where live firing occurs. However, the folks doing the firing at CFAs have responsibility to avoid air traffic, and thus CFAs are not shown on sectional maps. Pilots don’t need to know where CFAs are located, they just need to understand that they exist.

Warning Areas are zones off the coast where various activities may occur, such as air-to-air exercises or ship artillery firing, which could be a hazard to pilots. They begin as close as 3nm from the coast.

Alert Areas, by contrast, alert the pilot to a risk in his/her location such as a high density of traffic, or radio interference. Neither alert areas nor warning areas require communication with ATC, although it is advised. For example, in an alert area designated for high traffic volume, it would be a good idea to be in contact with ATC and receive VFR advisories, even for maneuvering flight.

Flashcard Questions

Where are Warning Areas found?

Why might a Warning Area be established?

Why might an Alert Area be established?

Can VFR pilots enter a Warning Area?

Can VFR pilots enter an Alert Area?

Where could aircraft flying in excess of 250 knots be found, other than in special use airspace?